MSI K8N Diamond
- Built-in Creative SoundBlaster Live!, wide array of connectivity options, good performance, good board monitor software
- SLI functionality must be manually installed
All things considered, this board impressed us with its features, especially its on-board Creative audio, but we did have to fiddle with different drivers in order to get the RAID array detected properly by Windows.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
One of the distinguishing features on this nForce4 SLI-based board is its built in Creative SoundBlaster Live! audio chip, which provides audio capabilities that easily outstrip the majority of motherboards. It supports up to 7.1 speakers and has analog as well as digital ports on its rear port cluster.
Two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a FireWire port along with USB 2.0, Serial, PS/2 and parallel ports also adorn the rear port cluster. MSI supplies expansion brackets for further USB 2.0 and FireWire ports, as well one for an external SATA port.
The board has RAID support through its four integrated SATA ports and MSI also adds a further two ports using a Silicon Image controller. We had a bit of difficulty locating the correct RAID drivers for our Windows XP installation, as the package we received for this review did not include retail driver discs, and the drivers that worked were the ones directly off Nvidia's Web site.
The board performed similarly to others nForce4 boards, with no anomalies. It's worth pointing out that MSI uses a VIA-based FireWire controller, whereas the other vendors rely on Texas Instrument controllers.
MSI provides some great utilities to allow you to monitor your system. DigiCell software allows you to view information, such as fan speeds and chip temperatures through Windows.
Physically, the board has all its ports and slots located in a logical manner, although there was one capacitor near the release lever of the first graphics slot. To enable SLI, the board requires that a selector board be physically manipulated.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- AMD drops Radeon RX 460, RX 470 prices ahead of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 launch
- Samsung releases super-high-capacity 8GB DRAM
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti can give prebuilt PCs a big gaming boost
- Tested: Shadow Warrior 2 sees huge performance boosts from Nvidia's multi-res shading
- AMD quietly scuttles Gaming Evolved, the Radeon rival to GeForce Experience
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (HTML/JAVA/J2EE) 161025/AP/862Asia
- CCData ScientistVIC
- CCContract Programmer (HTML5/Java/Oracle) 161031/P/551Asia
- CCWeb Content EditorQLD
- CCTest Engineer - .NETNSW
- CCSnr Business AnalystVIC
- CCWebpage Designer - Canberra RoleNSW
- FTSr. Insight SpecialistVIC
- CCData Centre EngineerNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - Managed Service Provider - No two days are the sameNSW
- FTDigital Optimisation and Analytics SpecialistNSW
- FTDirector Data AnalyticsACT
- CCContract IT Assistant (PC LAN Support) 161020/ITA/652Asia
- CCSitecore DeveloperNSW
- FTJunior Web Developer | Django | Python | AWS | PostgreSQL | North Sydney NSW
- FTOperational Integrity ManagerNSW
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- CCOracle Functional Consultant | 6mth ContractVIC
- CCContract Senior Systems Analyst (Oracle/SSADM) 161027/SSA/634Asia
- CCDigital Producer - 3 Month Contract Immediate Start!NSW
- CCNetwork Capacity PlannerVIC
- CCContract Senior IT Assistant (Lotus Notes) 161101/SITA/571Asia